Sunday, May 29, 2011

UAE Labour Law on gratuity and severance pay of employees

Limited contract:
According to UAE Labour Law, you are entitled to 21 days salary for every year of employment less than 5 years, and 30 days salary for each year of employment over 5 years, up to a maximum of 2 years’ salary. Limited contract holders shorter than 1 year not entitled for gratuity. If the employer dismissed you and revoked the contract without the reasons provided in the article (120),they shall compensate the worker by a pay of (3) months or the period remained from the contract , whichever is shorter … unless otherwise provided by the contract
Unlimited or indefinite contract holders
With  notice period specified in UAE Labour law (usually 30 days) then the amount is according to the following:
Employed for less than 1 year - no gratuity
Employed between 1-3 years - 7 days for each year of employment (1/3 of the limited contract amount)
Employed between 3-5 years - 14 days for each year of employment (2/3 of the limited contract amount)
If you employed longer than 5 years - 21 days for each year up to 5 years, and 30 days for each year after 5 years (same as for limited contract holders). Maximum limit is of 2 years’ worth of salary. 
Unless the employer has not fulfilled their obligations according to the UAE Labour Law, or the employer has assaulted the employee (Article 121 conditions for permission to leave employment without notice). You might have to file a case with the Ministry of Labour in the UAE to claim your gratuity in this case.
Gratuity is calculated on base salary only, any additional allowances are ignored. Employees who are entitled to a gratuity will have it calculated pro-rata for part-years of employment. It is common for employees in the UAE to be on a limited contract which is renewed repeatedly after completion of the fixed term. The gratuity applicable in this case should be that for a limited contract. But check carefully what your contract says.

If a contract specifies a possible notice period for terminating before completion, then it is still a limited contract and you might not be entitled to any gratuity if you do not complete the contract, even if you give the correct notice as specified in the contract. However, such contracts do usually include a clause to detail what gratuity will be paid in those circumstances, and those clauses should have legal validity.

Being required to give a period of notice of renewal or non-renewal of a fixed term contract does not make it an unlimited contract. It is still a limited contract, and the gratuity calculations for a limited contract should still apply. If an employer claims otherwise, contact the Ministry of Labour to at least ask for clarification, and possibly file a complaint.